Junli Song grew up in Chicago, but lived abroad from 2012-2018 in South Korea, England, Italy, and South Africa. Her studies are similarly widespread: she originally majored in economics and international development before returning to the creative path. She completed her MFA at the University of Arkansas with a concentration in printmaking, and is currently the Grant Wood fellow in printmaking at the University of Iowa. She is an artist and storyteller working across a range of media from printmaking and painting to sculpture and animation to explore imagined worlds and personal mythologies.

As a Chinese American woman, she has undertaken the project of world-building to create a space where she belongs, and to make sense of the complex, often contradictory, realities of existing between cultures. Centering around a female re-imagining of the mythological headless deity, Xingtian, as a symbol of resistance, the world created within these images exists as an imaginary realm where the liminal becomes a space of alternative existence. Drawing upon the fantasy and continual self-(re)invention inherent within diasporic societies, her work reveals the fluid nature of identity as inherited stories and traditions continually evolve.

Current Fellow
2023 to 2024